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Thursday, January 22, 2009

IE8 RC1 for Vista SP1 and XP SP3 About to Be Released

Forget about IE8 Beta 2

Forget about IE8 Beta 2, the first Release Candidate build of Internet Explorer 8 is just around the corner, according to Microsoft. Frank Olivier, UX and Compatibility PM, revealed that the Redmond company was “about to release [Internet Explorer 8 Release Candidate (IE8 RC1)] for Windows Vista and Windows XP” on January 21, 2009. IE8 RC1 will be tailored to Vista RTM and SP1, to XP SP3 and earlier, to Windows Server 2008 and to Windows Server 2003, but not to Windows 7. Users running Windows 7 Beta Build 7000 will not be able to install Internet Explorer 8 Release Candidate 1 on the operating system, on top of the platform's own copy of IE8 Beta.

At the end of August 2008, Microsoft made available for download the Beta 2 release of IE8, the evolution from Beta 1, which was initially launched in March of the past year. By the end of 2008, a Partner Build of Internet Explorer 8 was offered to a select pool of testers, which already carried the label Release Candidate 1. Now, the software giant is simply gearing up to serve the real thing to the general public, namely the fully-fledged Internet Explorer 8 Release Candidate 1 (IE8 RC1), leaving the Beta stage behind, and signaling the proximity of the RTW (release to web) phase.

“Over the past months, our compatibility team has been hard at work, finding and fixing bugs that cause site rendering issues. Due to the different release schedules for Windows 7 Beta and IE8 RC1, some of these bug fixes didn't make it into Windows 7 Beta (aka Build 7000). So, if you want to use the latest version of IE8 – you’ll want to install IE8 RC1 for Windows Vista or Windows XP,” Olivier explained.

In this context, the IE8 Beta build that is included into Windows 7 Beta is an interim version of the browser, more evolved than Beta 2, but inferior to Release Candidate 1. While IE8 RC1 will be made available for all supported versions of Windows with the exception of Windows 7, the Beta variant in Win7 is bound to evolve at the same pace as the rest of the operating system it comes bundled with.

“Just like we did for IE8 Beta 2, we would love to get your feedback on IE8 RC1 rendering. Soon after we release IE8 RC1, we will [detail] again about using the Report a Webpage Problem Add-On to report site rendering issues. The data that you have uploaded with this tool in the past has been very useful in our efforts to find and fix rendering issues – thank you very much for helping us out,” Olivier concluded.

Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) Beta 2 is available for download here.

IE8 RC1 for Vista SP1 and XP SP3 About to Be Released

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